Classy Cents charge to victory against Rhinos
Rugby League Conference Southern Premier Division St Albans Centurions 40 Ipswich Rhinos 22 ENGLAND International Oli Fountain was the star of the show, scoring four tries and kicking four goals, as St Albans Centurions returned to winning ways
Rugby League Conference
Southern Premier Division
St Albans Centurions 40 Ipswich Rhinos 22
ENGLAND International Oli Fountain was the star of the show, scoring four tries and kicking four goals, as St Albans Centurions returned to winning ways against Ipswich Rhinos at Colney Heath on Saturday.
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The Cents were in pulsating form in the first half before they eased off in the second period with the result secured.
With players unavailable in recent weeks due to injuries, international duty and retirement, Cents had endured some tough examinations but with the young players thriving on the experience, the result was a spectacular display to defeat the Rhinos.
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The opening exchanges were fairly even with Adam Cook, the Ipswich hooker, always looking dangerous but after 10 minutes of good work from Lewis Padmore, Miles Dempsey and Chris True set up a scrum five metres out from the Ipswich line. After a couple of battering rams from Dempsey and Jamie Molloy, Richard Smith, distributing the ball well from dummy half, sent out a long pass wide and the ball went left along the line for Jacques Steynberg to touch down in the corner.
The Rhinos hit back when scrum half Dan Kerr jinked over the line to touch down under the posts but for the rest of the first half it was one way traffic.
Joe Vassie, playing his best match of the season, powered his way through the Ipswich defence before passing to Angus Simpson who set up Fountain on the right wing for his first try of the game. Five minutes later excellent ball handling from Fountain, Molloy, Jonno Elvin and Owen Doyle ended with Doyle slipping the ball inside for Smith to grab four more points.
The Cents were now in confident mood and Fountain notched his second try when he latched on to the ball and with a marvellous step-and-run raced for the line after a good break from Shane Rampling. Fountain added the extra two points.
Fountain completed his hat trick on 35 minutes when, from the base of the scrum, Angus Simpson found stand off Shane Rampling who jinked through and fed the speedy England Lionheart.
When Ipswich did threaten briefly the St Albans side showed some good defence with everyone working well in the defensive line.
The hard work paid dividends when just before half time, an exciting run from Owen Doyle, back from injury for his first match of the season, and an audacious kick from scrum half Simpson set up birthday boy centre Dan Hensby, aged 18, to score on the left. Fountain kicked the extra two points to make the score 30-6 at the break.
The second period saw the Ipswich Rhinos moving up a gear as the Cents seemed to relax slightly with hooker Adam Cook nipping in for a try converted by Pete Le Marquand.
Cents rallied and the outstanding Fountain raced down the right flank to score his fourth try after a clever back door pass from second row forward Molloy.
Ipswich star Cook was on hand again to score his second try of the game on the hour mark but though the Rhinos were having the better of the half, they had left it too late. The Cents made sure they snuffed out any real fight back when, with five minutes remaining, Oli Fountain, Richard Smith and Miles Dempsey combined to sweep the ball downfield and set up Shane Rampling for a fine try on the left. Ipswich replied with a late consolation try from Darryl Walters but the final score was a convincing 40-22 success for classy Cents.
Centurions: True, Fountain, Doyle, Hensby, Steynberg, Rampling, Simpson, Weldon, Smith, Padmore, Molloy, Elvin, M. Dempsey, Wadsley, Vassie, M. Chapman, P. Chapman.